KEY POINTS

  • Russian forces believe people who say "I am Ukrainian" should be killed
  • The cruel behavior of Russian soldiers in Ukraine is considered "normal"
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin will only stop the war over army losses 

Russia has adopted a policy of genocide in its invasion of Ukraine, a Ukrainian military veteran claimed.

The invading country's forces believe "everyone who says 'I am Ukrainian' should be killed," Baida, a fighter who has been at the frontlines of Ukraine and Russia's conflict since 2014, said, as per Pravda.

In an interview with the YouTube channel Ukrainian Witness, the 9-year veteran explained that Russian forces have been acting cruelly in Ukraine because such behavior is considered "normal" for them.

"It is permissible in their mentality, it's normal. [If] you're in a foreign country, do what you want. The main thing is to get the job done," Baida, a native of the eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia, said.

While countries around the world have imposed sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Russians do not care about the penalties, Baida claimed.

Civilians will allegedly never blame their country's leadership, and they will always find an explanation for the war's outbreak even as they reach a minimum level of comfort. But they will still direct their displeasure at an imaginary external enemy.

"We are unlucky to have such a neighbor who has only one intention — to destroy our statehood and the Ukrainian nation. This has been [the situation] for 500 years. Now, this is just another stage in this attempt at extermination," Baida said.

Amid Russia's ongoing assault on Ukraine, Baida believes his country will never lose its statehood.

Russian forces will be forced to move to a new defense position in the future, and Ukrainian forces will be able to liberate occupied territory thanks to its "million-strong army," the Ukrainian fighter noted.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine has around 196,600 active personnel, while its reservists numbered 900,000, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

In comparison, the Russian Armed Forces have around 1 million active personnel and 2 million reservists.

However, the Russian Army has reportedly suffered significant damage in the invasion of Ukraine due to poor morale among its ranks, logistical problems and an underestimated Ukrainian resistance.

Proposals for negotiations will begin to appear after Russian President Vladimir Putin stops the war, according to Baida.

“There is no political decision after which the Russians will simply leave the territory. And in the current war, Putin will stop only when his army loses resources and offensive potential,” he said.

Genocide was codified as an independent crime in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, also known as the Genocide Convention.

The International Court of Justice has repeatedly stated that the convention embodies principles part of general customary international law. This means that states are bound as a matter of law by the principle that genocide is a crime prohibited under the law even if they have not ratified the Genocide Convention.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of 'genocide' Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of 'genocide' Photo: AFP / RONALDO SCHEMIDT